The fourth episode of the King Philip’s War series on the Frontier Partisans Podcast is up. You can listen to it here or on most podcasting platforms, including Spotify.
This episode recounts the Great Swamp Fight, in which the forces of the United Colonies attacked a fortified camp deep in a frozen swamp in Rhode Island, in a preemptive wintertime 1675 strike against the Narragansett.
The Great Swamp Fight was a rough piece of business — the actions of the Puritan militia were both heroic and breathtakingly cruel. Our man Benjamin Church flung himself into the fray, did some damage, and took a nasty wound.
There’s no question that the battle was a tactical triumph — albeit a costly one — for the English. Strategic victory? Well… opinions vary to this day.
Great podcast. I listened to it last night.
You know I always thought that only the settlers had forts not the Indians so I was surprised to learn about the Narragansett’s “secret lair.” It was horrible, and stupid, when the Puritans burned the place.
Quixotic Mainer says
Absolutely agreed. When you go out of your way to commit a war crime while depriving your force of food, shelter, and a defensive position; you’ve truly failed on all levels.
Great. I’ve been waiting for this one. I’ll start listening on my way home today.
Quixotic Mainer says
Trying to get into Church’s brain, I wonder if he was frustrated with some of the buffoonery he saw in the companies and that was why he turned down company command. Mayhap he was already sizing up the sort of fighter that was likely to be successful and was waiting for picked men?
Having been the first man through the door, or a breacher several times, I can picture the “fatal funnel” at the log barrier in the unfinished wall. Not an enviable place to be.
I think that’s accurate— plus he was the kind of man who needed to be in charge or independent.
Paul McNamee says
This run of podcasts really has me itching for day trips. Or maybe an extended weekend of exploration.
Will listen to this tomorrow morning! I loved episode 3, Like Matthew said, the idea of the Narragansetts having any significant fortifications isn’t something i knew previously.
Great episode all around. I didn’t know that Metacomet’s people suffered an attack like that by the Mohawk (and that it was their largest defeat at that!)